Summary: Why do we baptize on Easter?
Easter Baptism Easter, 2009
Tell the story of Easter – Kevin will read during service
What does it have to do with me?
There might be people who hear the story year after year and don’t get it. He died, yes! & he rose again! Yes! But it is not just a historical fact – his death and resurrection have everything to do with my life and my relationship with God right now.
Romans 5 (MSG)
12You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in -- first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. 13That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. 14Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.
18Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! 19One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.
20All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. 21All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life--a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.
Jesus’ death and resurrection puts us back in right relationship with our creator. When Peter explains this on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, the people were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
The way that we step into Adam’s sin is just to be born – we can’t get away from it. The way that we step into Jesus’ removal of that sin through his death and resurrection is to repent and be baptized.
This is one of the reasons that we love to baptize people on Easter Sunday – because Baptism and resurrection are so intricately connected.
How baptism speaks of the new life with Christ
Union with Jesus in his death & resurrection: 3-7
…all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Baptism is this amazing picture of death, burial, and resurrection. When we go under the water we are saying that we accept Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins – that we accept Jesus’ death as our own.
The Bible teaches us that the payment for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life! In Baptism, we are uniting ourselves with Jesus so that his death counts as ours. And just as his death is ours, so his resurrection is also ours!
Baptism is a sign that our sins are washed away – verse 6b – “the body of sin might be done away with”
Part of the picture of baptism is that of being washed clean.
Ananias’ word to Saul when Saul became a Christian - 14"Then he said: ’The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ – Acts 22